Top Ten

August 1, 2018

Government denies international work permits for St Clair grads, accused of inconsistent guidelines

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada has told some international business students at St Clair College that they missed the deadline to apply for post-graduate work permits, even as others who applied at the same time received them, reports CBC. The confusion started with a St Clair logistics program that runs concurrently with the school’s main business program. According to CBC, St Clair told students that they could apply for the permit after completing the logistics program. IRC, however claims only to recognize the business program, even as it has accepted applications from some logistics students and rejected others. Immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri, who is representing about two dozen rejected applicants, stated that IRC “has created a conflicting standard” of evaluation. CBC

Breaking down the barriers between discovery and commercialization: Hamdullahpur

“Not for the first time, the future of Canada’s economy stands at a crossroads,” writes University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur. The author notes that a range of initiatives and investments at the federal level show great promise within Canada, but adds that Canada still falls behind when it comes to translating research breakthroughs into economic growth. Hamdullahpur argues that universities are key players in the commercialization of new discoveries; however, this process requires strategic partnerships with industry and “an unwavering dedication to entrepreneurship.” The author provides an example of this approach through UWaterloo’s Global Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Innovation initiative. University Affairs

One-third of US college students don’t write essays: study

A new study of over 1,000 college students at four-year institutions in the United States has found that only two-thirds of the respondents have written a paper that is ten pages or longer, reports Emma Whitford. According to the study, the students who were most likely to have been assigned longer writing assignments were those from left-leaning, affluent families, as well as Black students, males, and students who grew up abroad. Whitford adds that older students were more likely to report that they needed additional help with their writing, as were politically conservative students and those who came from families with incomes below USD $45K. Inside Higher Ed

McMaster research centre receives $10.5M in federal funding

The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization at McMaster University has received $10.5M in federal funding for radiopharmaceutical research and development, reports the Hamilton Spectator. The funding is part of an $80M package from Canada's Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program. “This investment, it will lead to better diagnostics for cancer and heart disease and it will also lead to jobs here in Hamilton,” said Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan. The Spectator states that the Centre creates diagnostic tests and cancer treatments based on medical isotopes research. Hamilton Spectator

Following review, SaskPolytech to reopen fitness centre

Although it will not reinstate its cancelled athletics program, Saskatchewan Polytechnic will reopen its gym and fitness centres, reports Global News. SaskPolytech states that the decision followed a review from its “wellness steering committee,” which consists of students, staff, and faculty. According to Global, SaskPolytech will not rehire the seven staff members it laid off or reverse its decision to cut its Prairie Athletic Conference team. Global News

Getting the most out of class without overpreparing

One of the biggest challenges for early-career instructors is learning not to overprepare for class, writes James M Lang. While instructors might do this for many admirable reasons, Lang notes that one of the most common is the belief that every minute of class time must be spent introducing, explaining, clarifying, and covering the course material. In this case, Lang recommends that instructors let the homework they have assigned do some of this work for them. The author then offers a toolkit containing four types of classroom activities to help instructors get the most out of their time in class. Chronicle of Higher Education

Partnership between Fanshawe and A&L Canada provides hands-on experience for students

A research collaboration between Fanshawe College and A&L Canada Laboratories involving a robot that analyzes organic soil samples has fostered opportunities for students to put their research and laboratory skills to work, states NSERC. “For me, that experience of being a student and a research assistant provided endless opportunity for growth in numerous areas,” said Fanshawe Research Assistant Robert Nichol. “My role in the project was so diverse, I had to learn a complete robotic system and several new programming languages.” NSERC adds that Fanshawe’s programs in engineering and computer programming prompted A&L to approach them about a partnership. NSERC

The merits of guaranteeing final grades prior to an exam

Can guaranteeing a final grade prior to an exam encourage student creativity? This was the question posed by Business Professor Rangapriya Kannan-Narasimhan as part of her ongoing effort to put greater emphasis on risk-taking and innovative thinking in her school’s MBA program. The author notes that one of the greatest killers of creativity is the fear of risk, which is why Kannan-Narasimhan told her students that they were guaranteed at least a B in her course before they took her final exam. The author notes how she helped mitigate the risk of students submitting subpar work by incorporating a peer feedback mechanism. In the end, the author notes that the experiment produced excellent results and could serve as a model for future efforts to boost student creativity. Inside Higher Ed

SPU launches summer school in partnership with Indigenous women leaders

A Memorandum of Understanding between Saint Paul University and Quebec Native Women Inc will bring a dozen Indigenous women leaders to the QNW-SPU Summer School, an intensive course on Indigenous women’s governance in Quebec. “It’s incredibly important that our Indigenous women have access to the necessary tools and resources to empower them to become leaders and agents of change in their community,” said QNW President Viviane Michel. According to a SPU release, the three-credit course will emphasize knowledge acquisition, traditional and modern practices of governance, empowerment, and strategies of resistance. STU adds that the course will incorporate land-based practices and teaching methods. SPU

Dal to rebuild agricultural campus building damaged by fire

Dalhousie University plans to rebuild the main building of its agricultural campus following a fire in June, reports CBC. Construction will cost between $12M and $25M. David Gray, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, said that he does not yet know how much of the cost will be covered by insurance. CBC adds that faculty and students awaiting news about the fate of their research projects have not yet been granted access to the facility. Vasantha Rupasinghe, a professor with the faculty, told CBC that the damage could result in years’ worth of lost research. CBC